Good times roll at Jefferson Mardi Gras Upriver
By Bridget Ortigo
Feb. 10, 2018 at 11:13 p.m.
JEFFERSON — Despite some gloomy weather and falling temperatures, the party still was in full swing Saturday in downtown Jefferson for Mardi Gras Upriver.
The Grand Parade and Motorcycle Parade passed through hundreds of eager eventgoers as they tossed coveted green, purple and gold plastic Mardi Gras beads from floats.
The Mardi Gras Upriver King and Queen Ted and Candy Dickson glided through downtown on their "Gone with the Wind"-themed float in keeping with this year's parade theme of "Literary Treasures."
The Best in Show float was the Krewe of Drama's "Greatest Story Ever Told" Bible-themed float, which featured Moses and the 10 commandments, Mary, baby Jesus, the open tomb and dozens of hand-painted cloth tapestries with scripture verses painted on them.
The Dicksons earned first place with their Rhett and Scarlett float.
"We have come every year since (my daughter) was 3, and she's 21 now," Karen McMullen of Woodlawn said Saturday after watching the parade. "We just like the experience, and I try to teach her the culture behind Mardi Gras and why we have it. I grew up Lutheran, and Ash Wednesday was a tradition for us."
McMullen and her daughter, Cristiana McMullen, said they most enjoy the parade and attractions at the annual event.
"The parade is probably our favorite, and then the shopping and vendors," she said. "This is not too crowded like New Orleans, and it's kid-friendly."
Beckville residents Sasha Navarrette and Jordan Boxley also said they make the trek to Jefferson every year for the Mardi Gras celebration.
"I grew up here, and this is a yearly tradition," Navarrette said. "We come every year, religiously. The parade was our favorite thing today, but we also love the shops and definitely the food."
The Mardi Gras Upriver events continue noon to 1:30 p.m. today with Nighthawk taking the stage at the Beer Garden on Austin Street. The annual Children's Parade begins at 2 p.m. today with the Pet Parade to follow immediately.
For information about the Krewe of Hebe or Mardi Gras Upriver, visit the event's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MardiGrasUpriverJeffersonTexas or the website at www.mardigrasupriver.com .